New Fitted Mask Style On Redbubble

I’ve been waiting for these to officially launch! It looks like they are now finally available. I like the fitted design so much better than the flat as that is my preferred mask style, so when I saw they were going to be making these, I just got giddy.

These are adjustable, three layers of fabric and they have a nose wire for a more snug fit.

They ARE available in my TJ Fox Redbubble shop, but for some reason, they are still kind of hard to find and don’t show up under “masks” on the “Shop Products” side of things. You have to go through the “Explore Designs” section, click on the design you are interested in and the fitted mask option will show up for purchase.

Fitted Masks Example
Fitted Masks Example

The above is just a small sampling of the choices this mask is available in. This style does not work well with every design, but I do have it active on most.

As always, I’m open to custom work or if there is an image I’ve posted but isn’t out there, I’m more than willing to work with you. Just send me a note through my contact page!

Curled Leaf

Today is sunny and warm and I had a bid in my inbox this morning!

It is still a little higher than I had anticipated, but it really isn’t totally unreasonable. There are some things I need to get clarified before I can decide for sure to move forward as that may impact the final number, but at this point I’m extremely hopeful.

Progress! Maybe.

Nature’s Flower Arrangement

The cranky pants might make it back out today.

This is always a possibility anyway when it is cold and dreary like it is today, but even more so because I STILL haven’t heard back on the last contractor bid, even though I sent a follow up email a couple of days ago to try and get a time frame to expect the estimate.

I really hate it, but I think I’m going to have to seriously consider going the route of having only the HVAC and electric done and being forced to do all the framing and drywall myself. It’s funny, really. I’m totally okay with breaking out ALL the different power tools and doing more detailed, complicated work like building frickin’ cabinets, but I hate the idea of doing the framing and drywall work.

It is all just so frustrating.

 

Craft Room Project: First Router Attempt

While this so isn’t perfect, it absolutely blew apart my expectations for my first ever attempt at using not just a router, but bits that are apparently on the finicky side to use. I’m actually really happy with this little mess! (Sorry for the less than stellar photos, I just nabbed them quickly with my phone and didn’t realize how bad they were until I got them loaded!)

The first thing I attempted was cutting the tongue portion of what would become a tongue and groove join. This after more than an hour reading the directions and figuring out the basics of attaching the bit and adjusting depth and all the other VERY different nuances of using a router than any other power tool I’ve used so far.

First Attempt: Tongue Cut
First Attempt: Tongue Cut

As you can see, this is really wrong as that tongue isn’t supposed to be wedge shaped. I was working on figuring out how to keep the router flat on such a narrow piece of wood and obviously failed on that pass. I was still thrilled that it came even close to what I knew it was supposed to look like.

The second one of these came out much better, but was still not perfect.

Second Attempt: Tongue Cut
Second Attempt: Tongue Cut

It isn’t supposed to have that angled divot in it.

Second Attempt: Tongue Cut - Placement Goof
Second Attempt: Tongue Cut – Placement Goof

I’m totally okay with not perfect at this point. The tool is doing what it is supposed to do and the tongue piece itself came out wonderfully. The problems with this cut can be solved with a little practice and I’m good with playing some more.

The other part of this join, the groove, was surprisingly easy and came out mostly clean.

First Attempt: Groove for Tongue Joint
First Attempt: Groove for Tongue Joint

Part of why I’m surprised this came out as cleanly as it did was the fact that the router tended to hit in places and jerk a little. I think those were places where there were knots in the wood. This was probably close to a 3 foot long cut and it only had one noticeable wobble in the groove.

Wobble Oops on Tongue Groove
Wobble Oops on Tongue Groove

Considering this was the first time attempting this, I’m thrilled as this was the piece I was most concerned about being able to pull off.

The true test of how well this little play session was is seeing if those pieces actually fit together. And yes. Yes they did!

First Attempt: Joining Tongue & Groove
First Attempt: Joining Tongue & Groove

It was such a nice, snug fit, I wasn’t certain when I first tried it that it was going to work. Then it just snugged in perfectly.

First Attempt: Joining Tongue & Groove - Close Fit
First Attempt: Joining Tongue & Groove – Close Fit

The above picture makes me excessively happy in that it not only fit together, but it LINED UP! The surfaces of both pieces hit at the same spot. Sure, the edge of the one is a little rough, but a little sandpaper or a file will fix that completely.

Being able to pull these cuts off is a critical piece to building the cabinet doors. If I couldn’t pull this off, then I was going to have to look into a much more expensive option of getting a table saw and special blades. I’m almost certain after this experiment that I’ll be good with that I currently have.

The cool thing about this is even if it isn’t perfect, I’m still probably going to be good. I’m going to paint the cabinets, so any small things can either be fixed with wood filler or I might even leave some of the imperfections and keep these looking a little more rustic. The wood I use on the cabinets is also going to be a much better quality than what I used here. It will probably cut more cleanly than these did because of that.

I still need to practice more and try and work out some of the kinks to make sure the cuts are cleaner than what I got today, but this was a promising start.

Next up to test out and play with will be the nail guns. I think that all the playing I need to do to get ready for the cabinets is going to be its own project. I have enough wood, I think I’m going to build a small storage box for outside. If it is ugly, that’s perfectly fine, but it will give me the practice with all the new tools that I need.

I’m so happy with how everything worked out today!

Now I just REALLY need to hear back from this last company on a bid. I sent an email yesterday, so hopefully that will get a response soon.

Mum Petals In Black & White

It is on the colder, drearier side today as we are well on our way to seeing the end of the nice weather. We do still have a day or to this week that might allow me to open my windows again, but those will most likely be the last.

It will be a good time to be in the garage starting to play. I have some practicing to do, playing with all my new tools so by the time I actually start working on building cabinets, I actually know what the hell I’m doing.

I’m still on the fence about buying a table saw as it is really expensive and I think I can get away with a circular saw that is much less expensive and will most likely be used more after this project is done than a table saw would. There are certain things I need to be able to do that a table saw is apparently the best tool for the job. It can be done using a router (which I have), but it is supposedly a little harder.

I have ordered the router bit I need (could not find it locally) and it should be here today. My goal is to play around with it using some of the wood scraps I have from previous projects to see exactly how difficult that may be to work with to get the desired result.

It’s exciting because it feels like I’m moving forward and making progress even if what I’m doing is just messing around.

Now, if I could just get the bid back from the last guy, I’d actually know what was going to happen and when, or (and I REALLY don’t want to go this route) I start looking into electricians and figuring out how the hell I’m going to frame this damn thing myself.

Late Afternoon Sun

Apparently my cranky pants are still firmly in place today. This happens when roofers begin work at the butt crack of dawn right outside my window.

You’d think I’d be used to this by now. I’ve dealt with construction noises in my neighborhood since we moved in 16 years ago, only ever getting a few months here and there of quiet.

The difference? Almost every single house behind me, new houses that are only about 2 years old, are getting a new roof put on. Have you ever heard a new roof getting put on? It is non-stop banging from the start to the finish of the project. There are a LOT of new houses behind me.

I do feel bad for the homeowners because no one should have to replace the roof on a house that is only a few years old. When we saw the first one getting done, it was confusing, but just chalked it up to a potential random thing. Then a few days later, a couple more houses were getting the same treatment. Then a couple more. The only thing we can come up with is that there had to have been some major recall or defect in the roofing. And DAMN! That has got to suck.

Still, I really wish stuff like this didn’t start so frickin’ early in the morning!

Seriously?! I’m STILL Dealing With This?

Okay, I’m extra cranky today. But I think I have a pretty decent excuse.

A while back I talked about how my Amazon account got hacked. I still don’t know if that came first or if the email I used that was tied to that account got hacked first, but both were apparently targeted.

I was able to fix the Amazon one with somewhat minor headaches. The email one? I’m STILL dealing with the fallout of that one.

For the most part, it wasn’t a huge deal. I had a couple of hiccups in getting accounts changed that used that email, but they mostly worked out well. The one that didn’t? My Dell account.

It really shouldn’t be an issue. Just set up a new account the next time I need to get a computer, right? Well, that is exactly what I did when I got my current laptop.

The problem comes in with the fact that I had purchased my Microsoft subscriptions through Dell. Because it is a subscription, it is automatically renewed, so I keep getting charged even though I can’t access that account. Even though the credit card number associated with that account is no longer valid, the credit card company still pays it because the old card is still tied to our new card number.

I have tried each time this charge has come up to contact Dell so I can either change the information on my account so I can access it, or cancel the subscription through them so I can manage it through Microsoft. I’ve spent hours on the phone with them, but they refuse to do anything because? The warranty for my computer is expired.

Oh, they’d be more than willing to help me out if I paid hundreds of dollars for an extended warranty on a computer I no longer use. Even though the issue isn’t with the computer, but with the online account.

Let that sink in. They won’t provide any support because of an expired warranty on a computer without me renewing that warranty even though the problem is not about the computer, but with accessing their website.

The first time I called them and tried to get this resolved? 2018. I’m still dealing with it.

The last time I called Dell (last year), the conversation admittedly got a little heated because I’d already attempted to jump through all the hoops the previous year to even get connected to the correct department or person that MIGHT be able to help me, to no avail. The person I’d managed to get last time was being incredibly rude and condescending because this wasn’t a current computer (again, NOT a computer issue!!) He eventually hung up on me. And no, I managed to hold off from cussing the guy out, so I was shocked when I suddenly got dead air.

I thought we might have gotten a work around when our credit card company said last year when the charge came through again that they would not process another payment for the subscription unless we explicitly stated we wanted them to. The plan was to just let it not process, let that subscription expire and I could buy a new one through Microsoft (because guess what? I can’t buy a second one as long as the first is active).

We got notified from the credit card company today that we have a pending transaction for this subscription. They are processing another payment. Even though they said they wouldn’t.

I’ve now called the credit card company and we’ve set up a stop payment on all further transactions for this, but for the current charge, I have to wait for it to officially post and then file a dispute.

Did you know that pretty much the ONLY type of help you can get from Dell is for warranty support on a physical product? Feel free to go poke around their website and see what I mean. If you want to do any kind of an online chat for a problem? You have to log into your account. Which I cannot do. See how that might be an issue?

I attempted another call to Dell today, but couldn’t even get a voice prompt that came even close to what kind of help I needed and it refused to direct me to a single agent without choosing one of those completely unrelated prompts. I eventually hung up. I did manage to dig up an email address for some form of customer service, so I’ve attempted that route, but I’m not holding out a lot of hope.

It is quite possible that I’m going to have to break down and set up a new Microsoft account just so I can establish a new subscription. Do you have any idea how much of a nightmare that is going to be? There are so many things on a computer now that is directly tied to your Microsoft account if you have the right programs. There are already enough burps and glitches with Microsoft, I dread the complications I’m going to run into or what I might loose with that significant of a change. And attempting to get any kind of help or support from Microsoft is about a convoluted and non-existent as Dell’s support is.

Even that option is only going to happen if I can manage to get to the point where I’m no longer paying for the first one.

It is times like these that I absolutely abhor technology. The support for almost all of it is absolute crap.

Contractor Search: Color Me Surprised

To be completely honest, after the mess this has been from the start and the number of no shows or no call-backs I’ve had, I’m actually really surprised the guy showed up for today’s appointment. And on time.

Even more surprising, especially after that questionable first phone conversation, he seems to be a decent guy. Knowing how I felt about this guy after that call, I really didn’t expect this appointment to go well, but it really did.

I don’t have numbers yet, so I’m not jumping ahead of the game yet, but I liked what this guy had to say today. I like their process. I like the fact he didn’t try to pressure me in any direction and just took what I asked for and got the clarifications he needed and left it at that. It was kind of refreshing, actually.

I also adore the fact that they are only about 3 weeks out on their lead time as opposed to not being able to start until January like the last company is.

It is still going to come down to numbers, but today left me more hopeful than I’ve been about this project after all the bumps and sticker shock so far.

Meandering Path

We went for a walk and a drive around this weekend. The hope was that the trees were in full color and to get some photos. Of course, where I live, we don’t really get a “full color” like you’d see in other areas. We sort of get stages.

One week may be the yellow trees. Another week or two later, after those leaves have already fallen, you might get a red or an orange popping up here and there (though we don’t have a lot of those). It just seems like we can’t manage to get all the colors to line up at the same time, though every once in a great while, the trees will put on an amazing show, but it may only last for a day or two.

Right now, we are still way more green than I expected based on the trees in my neighborhood. There are some yellows that are already quickly turning to brown and the rare splash of orange peeking through, but not much else.

It was still nice to get out. I managed to, of course, get some photos of the kids being the absolute goofballs they are. I’d wanted some nice shots, but I’m just going to be grateful that both of them still want to go and do those things with us.

Today I’ve got Misogyny guy coming out to give me a bid. I honestly don’t know what I’m hoping for at this point. I do really want to get at least one more figure for how much this plan might cost me. I’d kind of love for that whole conversation to have just been an honest mistake and the guy is a decent guy that I’d consider working with. Based on the luck I’ve had so far, I’m not holding my breath for it.

I can dream, though, right?

Glistening Web

I’m a happy camper today. I tripped across another way to still sneak into classic mode on WP instead of being forced to use the block editor! Fingers crossed they don’t remove that backdoor!

That and this is one of the better spider web shots I’ve gotten. I’m mostly pleased with this one. Of course, it was again a windy day (WHY do they only build these when it is windy?) so it still isn’t the best ever, but still very nice.

Halloween Ghosts And Jack O’Lanterns on Redbubble

I have a couple of new designs done for Halloween masks out on my Redbubble shop. The only difference is that I liked these designs for more than just the masks, so there all kinds of fun goodies to choose from.

Like travel mugs and aprons.

As always, I’m game for design or image requests if you are looking for something in particular. Just drop me a note through my contact page!